Refining Your Questions

Step 1. Review your Questions
    1. Can the participant’s in the interview understand the question?
      1. Acronyms, Jargon and confusing technical terms can all confuse subjects.
    2. Can the subject reasonably be expected to answer the question?
      1. Example:  How much force do you use to deploy the system?  Most non-technical people will not be able to estimate the force they apply.
    3. Does your question have an embedded assumption?
      1. Example: When did you stop beating your wife?  This question assumes that the subject  beat his wife!
    4. Questions that seek to obtain two pieces of information in one question.
      1. Example: Where did you purchase the product?  This questions is asking “Did you Purchase the product?” and “What store or other outlet did you purchase the product from?
    5. Offensive, Insulting or Intrusive Questions
      1. Examples:  How old are you?  How much do you weigh? Where were you born?

Step 2. Adding Questions about the Interviewee

    1. Ensure that the interviewee is a member of the target market or a specific buyer type group.
      1. Without being intrusive the interviewer must ensure that the interviewee is part of the target market or one of the buyer type groups.  Without this assurance the information gathered is suspect!
    2. At the end of the interview, smart interviewers ask the interviewee if they would mind answering follow up questions at a later date.  If the interviewee is willing, contact information must be recorded.
    3. You may also want to ask the interviewee if they know of someone else that you should interview. This is an effective way to gather information from knowledgeable people.
    4. Finally, it is always helpful to ask a person where they would look to buy the type of product you are developing. Which catalogs, websites, and/or or brick-and-mortar stores to buy these types of products?  Their answers will help you to find competitive products.

Step 3. Confirming the Benefit

  1. If your product does not have direct competition, it is important to ask a question to confirm that the benefit the product delivers is valued by the people in the target market.  Many products have been developed to deliver benefits to customers that the customers do not feel are important.  Do you remember cars with four wheel steering?  To learn more about this benefit that customers were unwilling to par for click here.




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